Confronting Thieves on Your Own By ‘Find My iPhone’

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    May 04, 2014 4:15 PM GMT
    JP-IPHONES-master675.jpg

    NYT: Smartphones have become irresistibly delectable morsels for thieves. More than three million were stolen last year, according to a survey by Consumer Reports. Since 2011, cellphone thefts have risen more than 26 percent in Los Angeles; robberies involving phones were up 23 percent in San Francisco just last year. In New York City, more than 18 percent of all grand larcenies last year involved Apple products.

    Victims are often desperate to recover their stolen phones, which, as home to their texts, photos and friends’ phone numbers, can feel less like devices than like extensions of their hands. While iPhones may be the most popular with thieves, apps that can track stolen phones using GPS are now available for most smartphones.

    And although pursuing a thief can occasionally end in triumph, it can also lead to violence, particularly because some people arm themselves — hammers are popular — while hunting for their stolen phones.

    Do you think it is prudent to take the law into your own hands?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/us/when-hitting-find-my-iphone-takes-you-to-a-thiefs-doorstep.html?hp
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    May 04, 2014 4:31 PM GMT
    I send out a "self-erase" message and notify law enforcement, as well as Apple. I've only had an iPad stolen, not a phone (in the hospital when my husband was recuperating from heart bypass surgery).

    It was never found, but other items inside its shoulder bag were returned to me, by people who found them discarded along the street. Including, strangely enough, my intact checkbook in a custom leather cover, with an 18k gold Cross pen. I therefore assume these thieves weren't very professional or sophisticated.

    My husband previously lost a flip-phone he laid down on a table, while running a community flea market. He had no remote "disable" capability, we could only call the phone company and cancel the number. Never got that back, either.

    A lesbian couple we know had a phone stolen last week. They laid it down on a bar, and while distracted, it was taken. Next day one of them phoned the number, and another women answered. "That's my phone," said the owner. "It's mine now, bitch!" was the reply, before hanging up.

    I explained to her some actions she could still take, including legal, but she seemed oddly disinterested. I might not arm myself with a hammer, but if I could do something within the law and using technology regarding my own property I certainly would. icon_mad.gif
  • OutdoorAdvent...

    Posts: 361

    May 04, 2014 10:35 PM GMT
    Call the police.
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    May 04, 2014 11:24 PM GMT
    Maybe victims of mobile device theft wouldn't feel the need to take matters into their own hands if law enforcement actually bothered to follow through with their own investigation. But they don't, because:

    1. They consider the value of the device to be too low to bother "wasting limited department resources" to investigate.
    2. They make excuses that the victim should have just had the device insured.
    3. They are more interested in law enforcement activities that generate revenue, such as parking and traffic violations, rather than "petty" crime.

    Show me the statistics on how many of these reports--which include GPS tracking information--are actually investigated by law enforcement, resulting in recovery, compared to the total number of reports submitted. The fact is, the police are hypocrites: they don't care about your stolen device, but they don't want you to go after the thief because if you get hurt, then it becomes their problem. My taxpayer money is being used to fund their laziness and greed.

    If you want to get something done, do it yourself.
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    May 05, 2014 1:24 AM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidImmah git ghetto on dey azzez!





    A-Glock-19-gun-007.jpg



    Such a pretty gun!!! icon_biggrin.gif
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    May 05, 2014 1:36 AM GMT
    OutdoorAdventurist saidCall the police.

    Police won't come. It's just better to ambush the thieves with several friends + baseball bats, and forcefully take back your phone.
  • Pontifex

    Posts: 1882

    May 05, 2014 2:42 AM GMT
    xrichx said
    OutdoorAdventurist saidCall the police.

    Police won't come. It's just better to ambush the thieves with several friends + baseball bats, and forcefully take back your phone.


    As tempting as that is, I would advise against it. The cops won't do anything about the cell phone. On the other hand they will charge you with assault after the thief calls them. I'd suggest you buy your phones with a credit card that carries insurance or opt for additional insurance when purchasing it to avoid the trouble. A phone isn't worth a criminal record and jail time.
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    May 05, 2014 6:00 AM GMT
    heropup saidMaybe victims of mobile device theft wouldn't feel the need to take matters into their own hands if law enforcement actually bothered to follow through with their own investigation. But they don't, because:

    1. They consider the value of the device to be too low to bother "wasting limited department resources" to investigate.
    2. They make excuses that the victim should have just had the device insured.
    3. They are more interested in law enforcement activities that generate revenue, such as parking and traffic violations, rather than "petty" crime.

    Show me the statistics on how many of these reports--which include GPS tracking information--are actually investigated by law enforcement, resulting in recovery, compared to the total number of reports submitted. The fact is, the police are hypocrites: they don't care about your stolen device, but they don't want you to go after the thief because if you get hurt, then it becomes their problem. My taxpayer money is being used to fund their laziness and greed.

    If you want to get something done, do it yourself.


    As sad as this is.... I agree with what's said here. My own experiences back the observations shared.

    Although I've not lost a device, I've had other experiences that have made it clear that a good portion of law enforcement really isn't interested in what they consider to be 'mediocre issues', of which stolen devices, wallets, etc (among other "petty" crimes) seem to fall under.
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    May 05, 2014 7:43 AM GMT
    Pontifex said
    xrichx said
    OutdoorAdventurist saidCall the police.

    Police won't come. It's just better to ambush the thieves with several friends + baseball bats, and forcefully take back your phone.


    As tempting as that is, I would advise against it. The cops won't do anything about the cell phone. On the other hand they will charge you with assault after the thief calls them. I'd suggest you buy your phones with a credit card that carries insurance or opt for additional insurance when purchasing it to avoid the trouble. A phone isn't worth a criminal record and jail time.
    Just the tip.
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    May 05, 2014 12:10 PM GMT
    Pontifex said
    xrichx said
    OutdoorAdventurist saidCall the police.

    Police won't come. It's just better to ambush the thieves with several friends + baseball bats, and forcefully take back your phone.


    As tempting as that is, I would advise against it. The cops won't do anything about the cell phone. On the other hand they will charge you with assault after the thief calls them. I'd suggest you buy your phones with a credit card that carries insurance or opt for additional insurance when purchasing it to avoid the trouble. A phone isn't worth a criminal record and jail time.


    The THEIF is going to call the cops? Yeah, right. This is why you implement Bay Ridge Justice, by throwing a blanket or pillow case over their heads before you pummel them with the baseball bat. Problem solved.
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    May 05, 2014 1:29 PM GMT
    just install "Prey" and "Lookout" apps on the device and if its stolen, you can disable it remotely making it useless. That is about the only thing you can do that will help. That way the thief cant get to any of your INFO stored on the phone.
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    May 05, 2014 8:41 PM GMT
    do you have an existing pw on the phone?
  • OutdoorAdvent...

    Posts: 361

    May 05, 2014 10:05 PM GMT

    "After beating their faces to an unrecognizable bloody pulp with a baseball bat be sure to apply exaggerated force to their fingers/hands with the baseball bat. I mean, honestly. Who can dial 911 with broken fingers, hands and wrists?"


    We're talking about stealing a cell phone, right?
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    May 05, 2014 10:25 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle said
    davidingeorgia saidjust install "Prey" and "Lookout" apps on the device and if its stolen, you can disable it remotely making it useless. That is about the only thing you can do that will help. That way the thief cant get to any of your INFO stored on the phone.


    But can't they simply install a new SIM card to get around this problem and get it to work?

    Some companies don't use sim cards. I figured If mine got stolen, im more conserned about data being stolen then getting my phone back.
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    May 05, 2014 11:53 PM GMT
    Better yet. Rig your phone with C4. Then, when a thief does the snatch and grab, use Find my iPhone to detonate the motherfucker. That will teach them a lesson.
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    May 06, 2014 1:35 PM GMT
    Met a girl at Toolbox in NYC who had her purse stollen. We tracked it down. Sadly it had been gone through, dumped n retrieved by a nice older gentleman.

  • May 06, 2014 2:00 PM GMT
    heropup saidMaybe victims of mobile device theft wouldn't feel the need to take matters into their own hands if law enforcement actually bothered to follow through with their own investigation. But they don't, because:

    1. They consider the value of the device to be too low to bother "wasting limited department resources" to investigate.
    2. They make excuses that the victim should have just had the device insured.
    3. They are more interested in law enforcement activities that generate revenue, such as parking and traffic violations, rather than "petty" crime.

    Show me the statistics on how many of these reports--which include GPS tracking information--are actually investigated by law enforcement, resulting in recovery, compared to the total number of reports submitted. The fact is, the police are hypocrites: they don't care about your stolen device, but they don't want you to go after the thief because if you get hurt, then it becomes their problem. My taxpayer money is being used to fund their laziness and greed.

    If you want to get something done, do it yourself.


    i find that very true , when i got mugged the police didn't do anything!
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    May 06, 2014 5:30 PM GMT
    how did this wind up in the politics section, more of a science topic??????
  • safety43_mma1...

    Posts: 4251

    May 06, 2014 9:07 PM GMT
    MuchMoreThanMuscle saidImmah git ghetto on dey azzez!





    A-Glock-19-gun-007.jpg





    +1 to that I would whoop their ass period
  • safety43_mma1...

    Posts: 4251

    May 06, 2014 9:08 PM GMT
    GAMRican saidBetter yet. Rig your phone with C4. Then, when a thief does the snatch and grab, use Find my iPhone to detonate the motherfucker. That will teach them a lesson.






    +1 again I like the he thinks lol
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    May 07, 2014 1:14 AM GMT
    It's probably better to just enable remote erasure and count it as a lost.

    I had my Samsung SIII stolen in Las Vegas last year and I wish I had the forethought to have remote erasure set up on the phone before I lost it.

    Nevertheless, the lesson learned is not leave you phone on the counter even if you don't have pockets and to also boot lock the phone if possible to make it useless if stolen.
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    May 07, 2014 4:48 AM GMT
    woodsmen saidJP-IPHONES-master675.jpg

    NYT: Smartphones have become irresistibly delectable morsels for thieves. More than three million were stolen last year, according to a survey by Consumer Reports. Since 2011, cellphone thefts have risen more than 26 percent in Los Angeles; robberies involving phones were up 23 percent in San Francisco just last year. In New York City, more than 18 percent of all grand larcenies last year involved Apple products.

    Victims are often desperate to recover their stolen phones, which, as home to their texts, photos and friends’ phone numbers, can feel less like devices than like extensions of their hands. While iPhones may be the most popular with thieves, apps that can track stolen phones using GPS are now available for most smartphones.

    And although pursuing a thief can occasionally end in triumph, it can also lead to violence, particularly because some people arm themselves — hammers are popular — while hunting for their stolen phones.

    Do you think it is prudent to take the law into your own hands?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/04/us/when-hitting-find-my-iphone-takes-you-to-a-thiefs-doorstep.html?hp


    Not prudent, unless you use the "Find My Gun" app.
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    May 08, 2014 10:08 AM GMT
    Can I be Captain Obvious and say the person who has your phone now might not be the person who stole it? I am sure try would not like getting beaten up for their birthday present or whatever.
  • nic_m3

    Posts: 123

    May 09, 2014 5:53 AM GMT
    Steal my phone or anything that's mine and I'll gladly break your hand or any limb with a bat maybe we have some real fun and I can shoot you in the leg or something. Go ahead call the police I'll wait. Then I can claim self defense and you can try to explain why you have my phone. See who they believe. End of story. Have a goodnight realjock icon_smile.gif
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    May 12, 2014 3:08 AM GMT
    Telcos have a black list of stolen devices that they'll refuse to authorize onto their network.

    There are different utilities that will allow you to "brick" a phone remotely. That's not just erasing it, but, turning it into a useless brick. They are in widespread use in telecommunications companies, banks, etc., where mobile devices often carry sensitive information.

    If you've installed a GPS location function, and your phone is stolen, and it's on, you should be able to track it online until law enforcement can intervene.

    If that phone is on the network, your carrier knows which cell site, antenna, and GPS coord the phone is at, as well.